tv [untitled] December 7, 2016 8:00pm-8:26pm EST
pay for it. we did it. we found a way to pay for it. it comes from the miners, the abandoned mine fund. that was no tax dollars involved in this. the majority leader still wouldn't do anything, so finally senator manchin comes to the floor, i come to the floor, senator casey comes to the floor, senator warner comes to the floor over and over and says we're not going to agree to anything until you take care of these pensioners, until you take care of these miners' widows, and then out of the goodness of the majority leader's heart, he gives them -- he gives us -- forget about us -- he gives these miners, these retired miners and the widows four months. what's four months mean? it means these retired miners and widows got a notice in the last couple of weeks saying their insurance will expire december 31. if we agree to the majority leader's bountiful offer, then they will get another notice in january, february saying it's going to run out again in four
months. you know, what's really interesting around here is i hear republican senators day after day after day, whether it's the affordable care act, whether it's dodd-frank saying all we want is predict ability. we want to be able to plan. business can't produce jobs, can't create jobs unless we have a path forward, unless we can predict what will happen, unless we can have some certainty. that's all right for corporate america. they want certainty and corporate america wants to be able to plan. but it's not all right for mine workers and widows. it's okay to jack them around -- pardon my language, okay for them to stumble around every four months, we renew their pensions and health care? really. so, mr. president, this is so easy. this could -- give us a year, then we'll come back next year and work on this. as senator manchin says, for us to go home at christmas or whether you celebrate christmas or not, for us to go home and be with our families -- which i really want to do. i have five grandchildren.
i can't wait to get to spend time with them in the next three weeks. but we've got to do our jobs. if we don't do it tonight, we're going to be here tomorrow. if we don't do it tomorrow we're going to be here the next day. if we don't do it the end of the week we're going to be here next week. we're not leaving. if it means being in session on christmas day in order to get these miners, these retirees and their widows the pensions, or the health care they've earned, not a little four months. mr. president, i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the senator from north carolina. mr. tillis: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, the distinguished gentleman from oregon earlier said that he recognizes i'm kind of new to the senate and there may be something different gene what we would call -- different between what we would call a blanket position in the north carolina house and here. mr. president, i'd like to ask a question of the distinguished gentleman from ohio, who i might add i appreciate the kind comments that i think you recently reported in saying we
are working together on veterans issues. i look forward to continue to work for you. but, mr. president, i would ask the gentleman from ohio if he was in the chamber at the time of the motion offered by senator wyden, would he have been prepared to object to that amendment being consistent with the position that they're having blanket objections to all motions. mr. brown: mr. president, senator tillis, i heard the tail end of it. i was back in the cloakroom trying to figure out exactly what the parliamentary procedure was going to be on this. i would be willing to say yes to a lot of these once we take care of the mine workers. this is a wide open forum. let's take care of the mine workers, then we can consider each of these other bills. none of these bills have the immediacy of thousands and thousands of mine workers, retirees in pennsylvania, virginia, ohio and indiana. none of them have the immediacy
of mine workers' health care being cut off december 31. these are important public initiatives. i can't think of anything we're considering. i want to get into the wrda bill. speaker ryan, even though we tweeted the president-elect of the united states asking him to weigh in on buy america saving thousands of jobs in wheeling and places all over this country, i want to see us do that. i'd like to stay and do that. but the immediate question is how do we protect these mine worker retires, miners, retirees and how do we protect these widows and widowers, for that matter to make sure their health care is protected. that's the fundamental question. i'm willing to do a whole lot of other things. do this first and then the floor is open to do other things. mr. tillis: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. tillis: in a moment i'll be making another unanimous consent request. i'll give you a classic example of the kinds of things i wish could get done before we leave here.
the unanimous consent request would affect the private sector investments to recruit and obtain men and women who have served in the united states military with annual presidential awards to private sector employees recognizing such efforts for their purposes. so, mr. president, this is an example of something that right now without objection we can get through. i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to immediate consideration of h.r. 3286, a bill to encourage effective, voluntary private sector investments to reap criewt, employ and retain men and women who have served in the united states military with annual presidential awards to provide to private-sector employers recognizing such efforts which was received from the house. i further ask that the bill be considered read a third time and passed and that the motion to reconsider be made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. manchin: reserving the right to be 0. first i'd like to say to my p good friend from north carolina, mr. tillis, i've been here for six years, i've
never used this procedure. never believed in it. never thought anything would be so direly needed that i would have to stand here and object to all the good things we both have worked on. i have so many good things on my side that i'm not moving right now. you have so many great things on your side that i would love to help you with. but, sir, if you were in my position -- let me go a little bit further because i don't think i made it. if you want to add insult to injury to what's happened to our retired miners, all the people dependent on their health care benefits, the $47 million that i told you they transferred, that's what they're going to pay for from the house, the viba, takes it from other bankrupt funds that were set aside, they're going to do that. and when all is said and done, and even it's been scored that medicaid and medicare would save so much because now they're paying for it out of the health care, miners health care fund, they're not going to have to.
but on top of that, from the 47 they took, they're going to make $2 million profit return back to the treasurer. they're going to take $2 million from money set aside to pay that the bankrupt courts put aside to pay miners because they have lost, or they will lose their health care by june. now they're going to lose it by april by this provision that has been passed by the house. and on top of that they'll have $2 million in surplus. i had a lady call me today and she says you know, senator manchin, where i come from they call that theft. they just call that theft. and why y'all let them do that? if they don't do anything, some of our miners are still until june. 16,000 of us lose. we don't want to punish those. now you're punishing them. you're punishing them an extra three months. why would you all do that? and i'm not sure they really realize on the other side. like i said, i'm not at our
colleagues here, my friends and republican colleagues that i have here, but why would the house send that to you and why would you all accept it? that's all we're asking for. we could all gather forces here, send a large message to them. we're not going to do this until they come to their senses to take care of the miners' health care benefits. and you know what? we can come back. we can lift all of this, all of our u.c.'s that have been worked on and i think are so needed, can go right through. we can all go home and hopefully our miners now they have health care. we know we've done a lot of good for a lot of people and everyone hopefully will have a better christmas. so all i'm asking for until the c.r. includes that permanent long term, i'm going to have to object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. tillis: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. tillis: thank you, mr. president. i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the consideration of a senate resolution at the desk designating december 17, 2016,
as reach across america day submitted earlier today. i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i reserve the right to object. we can keep doing this, mr. president. i think it's pretty clear what senator manchin and i are asking for. not asking for anything unusual or asking for the senate to honor the pledge made by president truman by almost more or less seven decades ago to take care of the health care that mine workers earned. don't ever forget here, mr. president, we all work around here. we wear coats and ties and our work might be stressful sort of, kind of, but we're not likely risking our lives. we're not picking up
occupational diseases from the work we do. but we're saying to these widows of mine workers and retired mine workers that, you know, i guess you don't matter very much because we're going to have our christmas vacation and you're going to have to worry about your health care. their health care runs out december 31. senator mcconnell finally, after great pressure from constituents, from mine workers, from us, from so many others, finally said oh, four months, he's going to give us four months. you can't run your life with not knowing your health insurance is going to run out at four months or eight months or three months. we shouldn't keep repeating ourselves but senator tillis keeps bringing up one issue after another. we're going to keep saying no until we get in this bill much more time for health care for these mine -- these retired mine workers and their families and their widows. mr. president, i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. tillis: mr. president? the presiding officer: the
senator from north carolina. mr. tillis: mr. president, i just want to be clear that my friend from west virginia, who i actually consider to be one of my favorites to be honest with you, since i've been here. i love serving on the committee with him, on senate armed services and veterans, but i ask the gentleman from west virginia if he would have objected to the motion set forth by the senator from oregon, senator wyden, and the answer was no. so we have an inconsistency here. that's what we're trying to get to. mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of senate resolution at the desk honoring individuals who lost their lives in the tragic fire in oakland, california, on december 2, 2016. i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? the senator from west virginia. mr. manchin: reserving the right to object. i'd like to explain to my dear friend mr. tillis, senator tillis from north carolina. i was really reserving you the
pleasure of objecting and that's the reason i didn't object. on the senator from oregon. like you said, we can sit here. i think that we've all had -- and we still have so much respect and great appreciation and all that. and with that being said, we have come to an impasse that if we cannot get the house, with the help of our senate colleagues on both sides, on both sides to get to agree to a permanent long-term fix and a solution for the miners health care -- and senator, i would say that we took off the pension. you heard me say that. we took the pensions off of that. if we did not do that, if we would not do that, we thought we had a way to move forward.
we thought we had a way to move forward. and with that being said, we stand here today objecting to things that we all like to move forward on. we would all like to move forward on. and it pains all of us. it pains all of us to be in this position. hopefully y'all can help us talking to the house, talking to the house that basically they'll come to their senses and hopefully take care of this. so for that reason, until we have the long-term solution for our miners health care, as included in the miners protection, miners protection act, senate bill 3470, i am going to have to object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. tillis: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. tillis: thank you, mr. president. i guess i talk too fast even for a southerner. i'd like to direct another question through the chair to the gentleman from west virginia. i just want to be clear that
hypothetically if the gentleman from oregon was to come back to the chamber and offer that amendment, would the gentleman from west virginia actually object to that amendment. the presiding officer: is there objection to the senator posing a question? mr. brown: i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. tillis: okay. we may have that opportunity, mr. president. i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of a senate resolution at the desk recognizing the 75th anniversary of the attack on pearl harbor and the lasting significance of national pearl harbor remembrance day. i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. mr. brown: mr. president? the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. brown: reserving the right to object. i was incredulous at the beginning of the night not quite believing that that senator mcconnell, i don't know what he's doing now but sending his
people to the floor to find ways to push back against the mine workers in kentucky and west virginia and ohio and pennsylvania and indiana and virginia not willing to help those pensioners, not willing to help those widowers. we have a moral equivalency. the last two resolutions, we're talking about mine workers, retired mine workers health care. we're talking about widows of mine workers who either died on the job or died perhaps from an illness that mine workers so often have. brown lung or some kind of heart disease. and instead my friend from north care has offered two resolutions. one to honor people who died in a fire tragically and one to honor -- to mark the 75th anniversary of pearl harbor, both reasonable things but they're not resolutions to provide college to the children of the people who died in the
fire, not to increase benefits for the children -- the grandchildren of people who died in pearl harbor. they're like resolutions that don't mean anything except they're nice. i'm for these resolutions. i'd love to support anything we do to say something nice and pat somebody on the back, but to make this moral equivalency, we have these two resolutions saying aren't they nice, aren't we nice compared to taking care of widows who are going to see their health care expire on december 31. i don't understand the equivalency. i suppose we can go all night if senator mcconnell is perhaps sitting in his office or perhaps out to dinner or perhaps went home but is ordering or asking, however we do things here, senators come out on the floor and delay and delay and delay and try and change the subject so people forget about these mine workers, well, mr. president, we're not going to let you or senator tillis or senator mcconnell or senator
cornyn or anybody else, we're not going to let you forget the mine workers. we're going to keep talking about this. i don't mind working late tonight. i don't mind working late tomorrow. i'd rather not work till december 24 but senator manchin said he will. i will. my wife isn't thrilled about it. my grandkids aren't thrilled about it but it's what we've got to do. thousands of people are going to lose their health insurance december 31. all senator mcconnell can do after huge pressure from mine workers around the country, after huge pressure from his constituents in kentucky, after huge pressure from us, all that senator mcconnell can do is well, we'll give you four months, maybe four months. and that's supposed to satisfy us. it doesn't matter if you satisfy us. it matters if you take care of these mine workers, these retired mine workers and their widows, mr. president, for all of those reasons i object. the presiding officer: the objection is heard. mr. tillis: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. tillis: mr. president, the distinguished gentleman from ohio did mention a couple of resolutions, but i would add there was an american innovation
and competitiveness act that you worked very hard on that would provide much needed resources into a number of states, including ohio. there's a number of other i think hiring vets, providing programs where we're providing a preference and trying to do everything we can to get our veterans hired, preventing animal cruelty and torture i think is a worthwhile cause and a number of other things. but again the point here is that we're trying to move things that we generally have consent on that for one reason or another, and i don't question the gentleman from west virginia's motives, is holding things up. we kind of have a double standard in that some of these things do not rise to the same level as the motion, the unanimous consent request made by senator wyden earlier. so, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 527, house resolution 5456, that the wyden substitute amendment at the desk greed to, the bill
as amended be read a third time and passed, the motions to reconsider be made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. brown: i object. the presiding officer: the objection is heard chin mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. manchin: mr. president, reserving the right to object. the presiding officer: the objection has been heard. the senator from north carolina is recognized. mr. tillis: mr. president, i am happy to yield the floor to the gentleman from west virginia. the presiding officer: the gentleman from north carolina yields the floor to the gentleman from west virginia. mr. manchin: i just want to clarify. i think there's some confusion. seems like everybody is in a hustle right now. the whole thing i didn't -- and i think they're thinking we're being selective. i want to make it very clear. i've been clear to everybody. i've had to object on everything. i've had to object on my own pieces of legislation to stop everything, and with that being
said, i think first i was asked about senator wyden's and i said no, i wouldn't at that time. and then i think at that time senator tillis objected. for that ndz you a were -- and you were asked, did i object and i said no. you were going to. with that being said i would have objected to everything and i think everybody knew where i stood in this body that i will and have to reluctantly, reluctantly, senator. i don't want to be in this position. it's been six years i've never been in this position. but i am so committed to fulfilling a promise and commitment we've made. that's all. i'm sorry if there's been confusion. i have to for the position we've taken, i think the good fight that we have here and basically what the house has done to us is not humane to the people that we're representing. that's all i've said, sir. i'm sorry for that. if there's a motion on the table, i object to that, too.
mr. tillis: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. tillis: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from ohio. mr. brown: reserving the right to object. the presiding officer: the objection withdrawn. mr. tillis: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. tillis: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to executive session for the consideration of calendar 742 through 765 and all nominations on the secretary's desk, that the nominations be confirmed en bloc, the motions to consider -- to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no
intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order, that any statements related to the nominations be printed in the record, the president be immediately notified by the senate's action, and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. tillis: mr. president, i understand there's a bill at the desk and i ask for its first reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title and the bill for the first time. the clerk: s. 3516, a bill to authorize the secretary of veterans affairs to conduct a best practices peer review and so forth. mr. tillis: mr. president, i now ask for a second reading and in order to place the bill on the calendar under provisions of rule 14, i object to my own request. the presiding officer: the objection having been heard, the bill will receive its second reading on the next legislative day. mr. tillis: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. thursday, december 8.
following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. further, that following leader remarks, the senate resume consideration of the conference report to accompany senate 2943 postcloture. finally, that all postcloture time on the conference report to accompany senate 2943 expire at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. tillis: mr. president, if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that we stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned till 9:30 tomorrow
the vice president: the senator from delaware. mr. coons: mr. president, is the senate in a quorum call? the vice president: it is in a quorum call. mr. coons: i ask unanimous consent to engage in a colloquy with the following members -- the vice president: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. coons: forgive me. the vice president: is the senator seeking -- mr. coons: i ask unanimous consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be vitiated. the vice president: without objection. the senator from delaware. mr. coons: i ask unanimous consent that the following senators be recognized for up to four minutes each. senators who wish to speak in honor of the presiding officer. myself, the majority leader,